A recent study reveals that females who take antibiotics over an extended period of time enhance the chances of a stroke or heart attack. The research team found that females aged 60+ who had taken antibiotics for two months or more had an increased risk for these illnesses; however, antibiotics with a long duration taken during middle age (between 40-59) also shared this link. There was no evidence of risk for younger females aged between 20-39.
Science Daily revealed that the team reviewed over 35,000 females that participated in the Nurses Health Study, which has been ongoing within the United States since 1976. This study reviewed numbers from 2004 to 2012. At 2004, females 60+ were asked about antibiotic use during their younger (20-39), middle-aged (40-59), and current years. The team then placed them into four groups: those never taking antibiotics, those who took them for 15 days or less, 15 to 60 days, and then two months or more.
The average follow-up time frame was eight years, where the women completed questionnaires every two years. In the end, over 1,000 of those who participated in the research developed cardiovascular disease.
After factors such as race, age, sext, lifestyle and diet were taken into account, as well as others, and the team discovered that those women who took antibiotics for periods of time that spanned two months, or more, were 32 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular illness than those that did not use antibiotics. Those who took antibiotics in their middle-age years for two months or longer had an increased risk of 28 percent.
The common reasons for taking these antibiotics over long periods of time include urinary tract infections, dental issues, as well as respiratory infections.
Limitations around the research included the idea that participants reported antibiotic use, which could have been remembered incorrectly. The study also did not have information around the different types of antibiotics used. As the study focused on females, the results cannot be transformed to the male population.